Kielissä kulttuurien ääni [Language: the voice of cultures]

22 February 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kielissä kulttuurien ääni
[Language: the voice of cultures]
Toim. [Ed. by] Anna Idström and Sachiko Sosa
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2009. 311 p.
ISBN 978-952-222-129-2
€ 28, paperback

It is estimated that at least half of the world’s languages are dying out. This book aims to provide readers with information on the relationship between languages and cultures. What sorts of human cultural traditions are disappearing as a result of language extinction? In this book, linguistic researchers describe aspects of the interplay between language and culture and how different languages shed light on the cultures of their speakers. The 15 chapters include studies of the special features of Khanty texts, the Mansi language of Russia, Bantu languages, Creoles and Japanese as well as of language taboos within Finnish Roma culture. The subject is also addressed via translation studies; translating the Bible into hundreds of languages has proved that every language is unique – no language is completely substitutable for another in all its finest nuances.

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